On Thursday, September 20, 2022 Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act, legislation that would create a federal organized retail crime task force. The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Senior Executive Vice President, Public Affairs Michael Hanson issued the following statement in response.
“The alarming rise in organized retail crime that we are seeing in communities across the country is putting employees and customers in harms’ way. The legislation Senator Grassley introduced today is a crucial step in tackling this growing, complex problem. By establishing a federal task force to help track and prosecute criminals, we can increase collaboration and transparency among stakeholders, and help curb what has become a $69 billion problem for American businesses. Homeland Security has tracked the proceeds from selling stolen goods online to other nefarious criminal activities such as human trafficking, gun smuggling, narcotics and terrorism.
“Retailers strongly support the INFORM Consumers Act, which would bring much needed transparency by requiring online marketplaces like Amazon to verify sellers, making it harder for criminal elements to hide behind screennames and bogus business accounts to peddle stolen goods.
“It is vital that the federal government focus attention on this growing problem. Bolstering online transparency with a task force that aligns the resources of the federal government would be a welcome 1-2 punch to addressing this threat to our stores and communities.”